What Justified Writers Learned Early About Raylan and Boyd’s Relationship
In an interview with Esquire, Goggins marveled at this dynamic. “It’s this endless, irresistible obsession that every man has with the other that will lead to his ultimate downfall. It’s this ego, which, ‘I’m better than him, and I’m going to beat Raylan Givens.'” C It’s a self-destructive conflict, but if their enmity was the sum total of the show, viewers would have left early. Instead, show creator Graham Yost (who was playing on a crime-dense universe created by pulp maestro Elmore Leonard) took these adversaries to back roads.
“As much as [Raylan and Boyd] interfaced in season 1 and season 2, if you go to this gold mine too often, you will run out of gold. The writers recognized this early on, and we all wanted every conversation between Boyd and Raylan to advance their relationship. You look at those seasons where Boyd in season four tries to build that life with Ava and they get together and then at the end of the season their relationship ends, the exact same thing happens in Raylan’s world with Winona.”
Raylan and Boyd are awfully close to achieving a state of inner stability. They could call a truce and live a fulfilling life. But they are genetically incapable of not crawling on top of each other. And that is why they, and those around them, suffer.